Joongwon Charles Jeong

Jeong creates hyperrealistic paintings based off of Greek sculptures, friends, family and his favourite actors. His first works were those close to them, and then moved onto the ancient Greeks. Jeong has been inspired by not only the human body, but also nature as you should study nature to study the imperfections of the human body. The classical arts of the Greeks idealises the human form, but Jeong brings that down and scatters it in the world of the real by making it human.

He explains his work as a simulcarum – an image or an effigy that represents or imitates something or someone and is largely regarded as distorted, inferior and an imperfect copy. This has now moved into the term of hyperreality – the confusion as to which an individual cannot determine what is real and what is fiction. People often ask him why he paints hyperrealistically when you can just take a photograph of that thing with a camera. This is the wrong definition of hyperrealism and how mistaken they are – it is a artistic reflection of hyperreality (the experience). Because the paintings are so realistic, and you are confused whether you are looking at a photograph or a painting, you experience in that split second the hyperreality that is the basis for hyperrealism.
I enjoy hearing Jeong talk about his work as he wants people to know that his work is not perfect, because humans are not perfect. Although, when we view his works, we believe that is is perfect, we only believe that because of the immense detail in the paintings. I enjoy viewing the process and the final product of the Greek statues all the way to the paintings. I also aspire to create paintings in this way (hyperrealistically) in order to breach that confusion myself.

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